By Phyllis Stark. CREATED Aug 3, 2014
About 400,000 people in the Toledo, Ohio, area remain without drinking water for a second day Sunday after tests determined there were high toxin levels in the water caused by algae on Lake Erie.
Area residents were first warned not to drink the water on Saturday. Testing of the water for toxins continued through the weekend.
NBC News reports, “Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared a state of emergency for Lucas County and neighboring Wood County, the Ohio Department of Public Safety said in a statement. Chemists at a Toledo water treatment plant recorded readings of microcystin, a highly toxic substance that can cause abnormal liver function, diarrhea and vomiting, according to an advisory. Residents were warned not to drink tap water even after boiling because that could increase the toxin's concentration. Residents can still use the tap water to flush toilets but were warned that children shouldn't bathe in the water and pets shouldn't drink it.”
The city’s bottled water supply was depleted within hours of the announcement on Saturday. “Toledo said it would distribute water supplies to affected residents and asked people not try to scalp or sell water,” NBC News reports.
Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins said some sampling showed decreased toxin levels, but that results from further tests would not be known until later in the day, reports Inform. "All I can tell you is that everything is trending in a very positive direction," Collins told the media. But he added, "this is not over yet” and declined to predict when the water would once again be safe to consume.
“Toledo spent roughly $4 million last year in water treatment because of algae concerns and this incident is believed to be the second time in two years a city has issued a do-not-drink advisory because of algae toxins from the lake,” according to the Associated Press.